Estate Planning, Part 3 – Finding a Caring Environment for Elderly Parents

For families who are approaching that point in life when elderly parents are less and less able to care for themselves and increasingly in need of help, the task of deciding what to do and when to do it can produce wildly conflicted emotions—if not outright conflict—on all sides. But it need not. Confronting the need for new living arrangements forthrightly with all parties involved and at an early point in the aging process can help alleviate many of these issues, but the decisions can still be difficult, for the parents and for their adult children. To ease the potential for trauma—and drama—there are some things you can do. Continue reading “Estate Planning, Part 3 – Finding a Caring Environment for Elderly Parents”

Estate Planning Part 2 – Helping Your Parents Get Their Affairs in Order

One of the hardest tasks the adult children of elderly parents may have to do is to involve themselves in the legal and financial affairs of the parents. Issues of privacy, independence and judgment can quickly bubble to the surface and make a difficult situation worse. But it is important for everyone involved that these issues be clarified, especially if a parents’ memory and/or physical capacity are in decline. The financial and emotional well-being of the parents, the children, and the grand-children are often at stake. Continue reading “Estate Planning Part 2 – Helping Your Parents Get Their Affairs in Order”

Municipal facelifts: To finance or not to finance – that is the question

Municipal infrastructure & equipment upkeep is expensive.  City/Town councils or commissions have to make hard decisions every day on how to finance capital projects – the big question is to borrow money or save over time and pay with cash.  Sounds much like a personal budget dilemma – and in fact, it is.

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Young savers will turn into adult financial rock stars!

Science has taught us that children are like sponges – they soak up the most information when they are young. Linguistic experts always note that children who grew up hearing phonemes of other languages have an easier time learning the language when they are older. The same is true when it comes to learning about finances. The bottom line is: children pick up habits when they are young and it shapes who they are as adults.

Now, I am not advocating for you to sit your three-year old down to help you balance your checkbook –  although, I would be impressed if they could do it!  However, there are other ways to teach your children valuable lessons on saving, such as:

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We’ll take your smelly, old sneakers

You are registered for the Litchfield Hills Road Race. You’ve trained for the 7 + mile race, ready to conquer the infamous Gallows Lane, a steep quarter-mile long hill at the 6-mile mark that threatens to sap your strength.

You go to pick up your number and your free T-shirt. The crowds are beginning to gather on the green – the tailgaters are staking out their territory and you see it…the big bin of sneakers, most of which have seen a mile or two.  

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Why should a business bank with a local community bank?

I have spent my long banking career at a few (some people say “a number”) of banks here in Connecticut.  At each stop I have had the pleasure of working with small and medium sized businesses who work every day to promote their products and provide jobs for thousands of people in our state.  Each of those businesses also realize that the communities that they are in are very important to the success of their business.  It is those people in the community who buy their products, educate their employees and their employees’ children, and provide a secure environment in which to live.

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We’re not just a bank, we’re your neighbor

Every bank has a tag line, a motto, a mission – some even have fancy jingles – you know the ones that run through your brain at 2am and won’t leave?  At Litchfield Bancorp we are pretty down to earth – no fancy jingles here keeping you up at night.   Our culture and our team, we are just normal people – we are your neighbors.  We do the same things you do – from Chairman of the Board to our top notch tellers – yes, we are just like you.

Back to tag lines, ours is “Every Customer Counts”.  This may sound cliché, but for 165 years, this saying has been the driving force behind everything that we do.

Here’s what I mean….

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Changing while staying the same

I’ve been in this industry a long time – no need to dwell on the actual years invested but suffice it to say I’ve seen quite a few changes during my banking journey.  I joined Litchfield Bancorp in 1994 when my predecessor Mark Macomber brought me on as Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender.  At that time, our bank was at a tipping point – a financial tipping point.  Like any business in that situation, it was sink or swim time.  Mark decided to swim, I agreed to follow – and that required change at the bank.

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